Voice of Talysh

Голос Талыша

Известные события, произошедшие с моей семьей за последние годы, всколыхнули нашу жизнь до основания.


Tolışi xəbon

Xıdo rəhmətkə Əli Rzayevi... 
Bastari musibət (aktual hukayət) 
Bə çəmə alimə zoon afərin bıbu 
Aydın müəllimi de şair Xilqəti musahibə 
Çı mardə odəmi nomi bə jurnali redaksiyə heyət çokonə dənəmon? 
Tolışi mətbuat tarixədə tojə cən - "Aləm" jurnal çapo beşə 
Xatirə ruşnədə dili söhbət (6) 
Xatirə ruşnədə dili söhbət (5) 
Xatirə ruşnədə dili söhbət (4) 
Xatirə ruşnədə dili söhbət (3) 
"KUL" sıxani mənon 
Xatirə ruşnədə dıli sohbət (2) 
Xatirə ruşnədə dıli sohbət 
“Honi çəşmə"ro vəsə 
ÇE? ÇI? 
Əv kiye? 
Şahmirzə Tolışəxun - 60 
Tolışi talantə şair Şamirzə TOLIŞƏXUN (10.07.1955 - 18.11.2014) 
Tolışi talantə şair Şamirzə TOLIŞƏXUN (10.07.1955 - 18.11.2014) 
Baləddin VEŞO şeronədə pencli janr 
De şair Baləddin VEŞO müsahibə 


Новрузали Мамедов
Марьям МАММАДОВА. Трагедия одной семьи. 2013
ГИЛАЛ МАМЕДОВ на свабоде!
Talış dilinin hazırkı durumu ilə bağlı Azərbaycan Talışların İctimai Şurasının MÖVQE SƏNƏDİ
ATİŞ-in Milli azlıqların müdafiəsi haqqında çərçivə Sazişi ilə bağlı hesabatı


Voice of Talysh

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WikiLeaks about Talyshs: Azerbaijan`s southern border regions and Iran

DE RUEHKB #0451/01 1080716
P 180716Z APR 07
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/12/2017 
REF: BAKU 374 
BAKU 00000451 001.2 OF 002 
Classified By: Ambassador Anne E. Derse for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 
 1. (C) Summary: An April 10-12 trip to Azerbaijan's southern 
Astara, Lerik, Yardimli, and Lenkoran regions by Embassy Iran 
Watcher revealed a normal situation along the border, with no 
evidence of increased border traffic or a military buildup as 
reported by the Baku press (reftel). Embassy contacts in the 
south believed that Russia, rather than Iran, is responsible 
for these false media reports. Embassy contacts also 
attribute reports of ethnic Talysh separatist movements to 
"outside influences," reporting that Talysh grievances were 
similar to those of ordinary Azerbaijanis, and were rooted in 
Azerbaijan's limited economic opportunities. Local contacts 
also reported that Iran exerts considerable influence in 
Azerbaijan's southern regions, through charitable 
organizations, religious training, and Azerbaijani-language 
television broadcasts. An Azerbaijani NGO activist who 
travels regularly to Iran said that many of her Iranian NGO 
contacts were increasingly unhappy with Iranian President 
Ahmadinejad's handling of foreign policy and economic 
matters. End Summary. 
Azerbaijan's Southern Border With Iran 
 2. (C) As tensions between the international community and 
Iran have increased, so too has the volume of highly 
speculative reports associated with these developments in the 
Azerbaijani press. With headlines ranging from "Iranians 
Fleeing Iran to Azerbaijan" to "Separatist Talysh Leaders 
Arrested," these and other similar reports have served to 
significantly raise public concerns about a possible military 
confrontation with Iran. During an April 10-12 visit to 
Azerbaijan's southern Astara, Lerik, Yardimli, and Lenkoran 
regions, Embassy Iran Watcher met with a number of local 
opposition politicians, Talysh ethnic leaders, and civil 
society leaders to discuss these and other issues. 
 3. (C) According to local opposition politicians and Talysh 
ethnic leaders in Astara (which serves as Azerbaijan's 
principal border crossing with Iran), border traffic between 
Azerbaijan and Iran is "normal," with none of our contacts 
having noted an appreciable increase in traffic from Iran in 
recent months. Contrary to Baku-based press reports of an 
April 3 border closure (reftel), none of the leaders 
interviewed was aware of any recent border closures and 
attributed any slowdowns to Novruz holiday travel. (Note - 
Iran Watcher observed only limited Iranian privately owned 
vehicle traffic across the border; northbound Iranian buses 
appeared to have been largely empty. End note.) With regard 
to press reports claiming that Iranians were acquiring 
considerable amounts of real estate in Azerbaijan in order to 
escape a military attack, one politician said that Iranians 
with means already owned homes in Baku, having acquired them 
years before current tensions. Asked to comment on the 
source of speculative press reporting, all pointed to Russia 
- not Iran - as the likely instigator. According to one 
local politician: "We know Iran and how to deal with them. 
It is Russia who is unpredictable and behind many problems - 
look at Georgia." (Note - Foreign Minister Mammadyarov told 
the Ambassador that "those interested in stirring up 
problems" had taken a 2 hour border closure due to computer 
difficulties and spun up these stories. He also told the 
Ambassador that he had asked the Ministry of National 
Security to look into who was behind these reports. End 
 4. (C) Concerning reports of ethnic Talysh separatism, local 
politicians dismissed these reports as the work of "outside 
influences." While none denied that many in the Talysh 
community were unhappy, all firmly believed that Talysh 
grievances were no different than those of ordinary 
Azerbaijanis - primarily associated with pervasive corruption 
and the lack of economic opportunity. (Note - According to 
the OSCE, Azerbaijan's Talysh minority is one of its largest, 
numbering approximately 500,000. The Talysh are Shi'a 
Muslims who speak Talysh, a Persian dialect. The Talysh 
community spans into northwestern Iran, where an estimated 
100,000 live. End note.) Because of this, one opposition 
politician reported, locals were made reliant on small-scale 
trade with neighboring Iran. According to this same 
politician, "at least 600 men" in Astara reportedly made a 
living bringing goods from Iran to market in Azerbaijan. As 
for the rest, "all (are) in Russia." 
BAKU 00000451 002.2 OF 002 
Iranian Influence from a Civil Society Perspective 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 
 5. (C) According to civil society and NGO leaders in the 
city of Lenkoran, Iranian influence in the region was 
"considerable." One NGO leader, a Persian instructor at a 
local high school who regularly travels to Iran to work with 
Iranian women's NGOs, said that the Imam Khomeini Foundation 
is quite active in the region, providing direct financial and 
material assistance to families in need. (She was unaware of 
any Iranian Embassy or Cultural Center activities in the 
region.) She also explained that Iranian religious influence 
in the region was quite strong, with many local Imams having 
received their theological training in Qom. Asked to which 
Grand Ayatollah most locals owed their loyalty to, she 
reported the Grand Ayatollahs Lenkerani and Tabrizi had the 
greatest following. (Note - While the influence of Grand 
Ayatollahs Lenkerani and Tabrizi is strongest in rural areas, 
public opinion polling and Embassy contacts indicate that 
most urban Azerbaijanis, especially in Baku, owe their 
allegiance to Grand Ayatollah Al-Sistani. End note.) 
 6. (C) Embassy contacts in the southern regions report that 
Iranian Seher Television was widely watched. Attributing 
locals' interest in watching Seher Television primarily to a 
desire to get information from sources outside of Azerbaijani 
state-controlled media, one leader claimed that the number of 
telephone calls from Azerbaijanis to live call-in Seher 
programming "was going up." While our contacts believed that 
most locals maintained a healthy level of suspicion vis-a-vis 
Iranian outreach efforts due to Iran's treatment of its own 
Azeri minority and continued cooperation with Armenia, they 
also feared that Iran could eventually exploit Azerbaijan's 
economic difficulties to its own advantage. 
 7. (C) With regard to the Talysh minority in Azerbaijan, 
while our contacts acknowledged that the Talysh community 
contained separatist elements, they were unaware of any 
larger-scale, popular separatist undercurrents. Pointing to 
the numerous freedoms that the Talysh of Azerbaijan enjoy 
that ethnic Azeris in Iran do not (to include the formation 
of their own NGOs and use of their mother tongue), 
Azerbaijani politicians and NGO activists believed that most 
Talysh grievances were similar to their own: official 
corruption and deteriorating economic conditions. Concerning 
possible Iranian attempts to manipulate the region's Talysh, 
all were far more concerned about Russian attempts, pointing 
to the large number of locally available Talysh newspapers 
from Russia and alleged financial assistance from Russia. It 
was also alleged that Iran provided more limited financial 
assistance and moral support (in the form of Seher Television 
programming) to the Talysh. 
A View from Iran 
 8. (C) The Lenkoran NGO leader who travels to Iran 
frequently reported that during her most recent visit to 
northwestern Iran in the spring, many Iranians privately told 
her "don't let Islam in," a warning she interpreted not to 
allow a "mullah government" to become established in 
Azerbaijan. She said that despite increasing tensions with 
the US, she neither felt nor saw any hostility toward the US. 
 She also reported that the majority of her local NGO 
contacts were increasingly unhappy with the Ahmadinejad 
regime's handling of foreign policy and economic matters. 
 9. (C) In spite of the flurry of alarmist press stories in 
Baku, life in Azerbaijan's southern regions bordering Iran 
appears untouched by any fear of an impending military 
conflict. Reports of backlogs at the border or huge numbers 
of Iranians fleeing to Azerbaijan appear to be false. 
Tightly interwoven both ethnically and commercially, 
residents of Azerbaijan's southern border regions report that 
they understand their southern neighbor far better than they 
do Russia, to whom they attribute press and other efforts to 
destabilize Azerbaijan. However, through both broadcasting 
and charitable activities, Iran clearly has a profound 
influence on daily life in Azerbaijan's southern regions. We 
will continue to explore this and other influences. 



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